As it happens, Ben and I are going to be doing a podcast interview soon with conservative writer John Derbyshire. And I'm pretty sure we're going to have to talk about this:
DERBYSHIRE: Among the hopes that I do not realistically nurse is the hope that female suffrage will be repealed. But I’ll say this – if it were to be, I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep.
COLMES: We’d be a better country if women didn’t vote?
DERBYSHIRE: Probably. Don’t you think so?
COLMES: No, I do not think so whatsoever.
DERBYSHIRE: Come on Alan. Come clean here [laughing].
COLMES: We would be a better country? John Derbyshire making the statement, we would be a better country if women did not vote.
DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, probably.
Derbyshire elaborates here. There's a "sex gap" you see, in which women tend to vote liberal. (Maybe the "sex gap" is that men tend to vote conservative -- why should dude thinking be the default position?) In any case, Derbyshire stresses that he's not advocating a repeal of women's suffrage -- and says that he believes the value of "equity" outweighs the damage done by women voting the wrong way. Which, great.
But it's still kind of icky to be so casual about somebody else's rights. I guess I could say I would "not lose a minute's sleep" if the authorities decided to break into John Derbyshire's house and throw him into prison for the crime of having sexist thoughts -- but you'd be right to banish me to the fringe of the conversation instead of granting me a perch at a leading opinion journal. And I could hardly claim to embrace American values if I did so.
Ah well. It's Derbyshire. He's a former Brit who, I understand, is now a citizen here. Read his stuff long enough and you suspect that his real values aren't democratic -- small "d." Instead, it sometimes appears he fled a fading empire for the closest thing the late 20th century had to offer. But while there's been a minor kerfuffle over Derbyshire's comments, the fact it isn't a bigger deal seems to prove that we're still kinda ok with rank sexism.